Skip to main content

tv   Martin Bashir  MSNBC  April 28, 2011 3:00pm-4:00pm EDT

3:00 pm
church on time. final touches under way with just hours to go before the wedding of the century. prince william and catherine, your moment is almost here. and welcome to london as which await the president of the united states set to address the nation shortly on the devastation in the southeast and the change in the makeup of his defense and intelligence teams. for even amid the celebrations here, our thoughts today are very much with those back at home where massive tornadoes ripped a path of destruction through the south. an epic storm system leaving flattened homes and buildings and killing up to 250 people. a staggering number that our modern age of satellites and early warning systems failed tragically to prevent. president obama will travel to alabama tomorrow where the worst of the twisters hit and where
3:01 pm
the death toll and the heart break is expected to rise. nbc news joins me from tuscaloosa, alabama. the devastation there musting staggering. what are you finding on the scene exactly where you are? >> reporter: well, martin, in this block alone we're basically seeing what you see here. this entire block was wiped out. the trees have been hacked and they've been toppled over on top of the homes and also the cars. in this home you can see that this couple who was married just four days ago is trying to basically see what they can salvage from what's left of their home. they moved in here a short while ago. many of their blonings are right outside what used to be their driveway. angela smith, who is right there, 22 years old. she and her husband have were married four days ago and now dealing with a major disaster. on the street here if you take a look over here, you might count one, two, three homes and you might see a space right over there. that space right there, three
3:02 pm
college students at the university of alabama which is about a half mile away from where we're standing were killed last night when this basically went through, lifted up their home, and slammed it across the street into another home and the trees down there as well. the mayor of tuscaloosa says the tr infrastructure here is decimated and says it will take much, much more effort here to find people missing. the search and rescue efforts are still ongoing at this hour. he said that won't stop until everybody is accounted for. there are major, major hits here in the communication system here. they say that has really harcherrharcher -- hampered a lot of the response. the mayor says right now he needs a lot of help from the country and a lot of prayers as well. martin? >> the survivors that we were just looking at look completely dazed, shell shocked by what's happened. >> reporter: well, martin, as you can imagine, their lives have been turned upside down, especially for the people who
3:03 pm
have also suffered losses. we spoke with one girl who was friends with the three college students who lived her. she said in a matter of moments my life will be turned upside down. she went through the hope today, tried to pick up some remnants. she found a picture of a good friend of hers in the car. she was very emotional, as you can imagine. there's very much a daze, a haze over people because people are now just basically walking around and you will see people walking with duffel bags and suitcases of their belongings and that's about all they have at this point, martin? >> thanks very much for your reporting. at this hour we're awaiting president obama who is set to deliver remarks on the shake-up at the pentagon and the cia. but first he'll announce plans to travel to alabama tomorrow to meet with state officials and some of the families who have been hit hardest by this unprecedented series of deadly storms that swept across the region. nbc's mike viqueira is live at the white house. good afternoon, mike.
3:04 pm
>> reporter: hello, martin. >> i'm assuming, mike, that this was a trip that the president almost had to make because he's en route for the shuttle launch but he really needs to go to alabama, doesn't he? >> reporter: well, that's absolutely right. the president for the last voyage of the space shuttle "endeavour," this is the second to last voyage of the entire space shuttle fleet, not to mention the compelling story line, the husband of representative gabrielle giffords, of course the victim of that horrific shooting in tucson, commander mark kelly, will be commanding this mission. the president will be in florida to witness that launch tomorrow afternoon, tomorrow evening. he travels to south florida where he delivers the commencement address at miami-dade college, and after the events of late yesterday, it became apparent given the death and destruction, the tragic events in alabama, georgia, and elsewhere across the south that the president would be making the trip. whenever there's an event like this, the first concern of the white house is we don't want to get in the way. when a president travels, there's all kinds of security,
3:05 pm
all kinds of precautions, logistic and otherwise. he takes up a lot of space, a big footprint. once the white house was convinced those issues would not cause a problem, they went ahead and scheduled this trip for the president around the visit to the space shuttle launch and his speech in miami later tomorrow night. >> mike viqueira live at the white house. for now, thank you. neck, txt, the president se address the nation. we'll bring that to you live. stay with us. [ male announcer ] it's simple physics...
3:06 pm
a body at rest tends to stay at rest... while a body in motion tends to stay in motion. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion. because just one 200mg celebrex a day can provide 24 hour relief for many with arthritis pain and inflammation. plus, in clinical studies, celebrex is proven to improve daily physical function so moving is easier. and celebrex is not a narcotic. when it comes to relieving your arthritis pain, you and your doctor need to balance the benefits with the risks. all prescription nsaids, like celebrex, ibuprofen, naproxen, and meloxicam have the same cardiovascular warning. they all may increase the chance of heart attack or stroke, which can lead to death. this chance increases if you have heart disease or risk factors such as high blood pressure or when nsaids are taken for long periods.
3:07 pm
nsaids, including celebrex, increase the chance of serious skin or allergic reactions or stomach and intestine problems, such as bleeding and ulcers, which can occur without warning and may cause death. patients also taking aspirin and the elderly are at increased risk for stomach bleeding and ulcers. do not take celebrex if you've had an asthma attack, hives, or other allergies to aspirin, nsaids or sulfonamides. get help right away if you have swelling of the face or throat, or trouble breathing. tell your doctor your medical history and find an arthritis treatment for you. visit and ask your doctor about celebrex. for a body in motion.
3:08 pm
tomorrow president obama will travel to the devastation zone in alabama. right now he's about to speak from the white house, and joining us again is nbc's mike
3:09 pm
viqueira live. mike, do we know what the president will say about why he's making these positional changes with regard to the pentagon and the cia? >> well, we do expect him to say a couple things. number one, a lot of this was precipitated because robert gates had made no secret of the fact he being something of a reluctant warrior being called from a republican administration. he served in a number of posts including cia director himself, had been over the course of the obama administration of course the secretary of dfefense. he said towards the middle of the year he was going to retire. that sets in motion a series of events. leon panetta, currently the cia director, was said to be reluctant. only gave the president his only okay, his final affirmation agreeing to move over to be defense secretary on monday at a meeting here at the white house, so leon panetta, a former congressman from northern california, former budget committee chairman, head of the
3:10 pm
omb, chief of staff here at the clinton administration white house going to be moving to become the secretary of defense. no big surprise there. a much larger surprise when it was discovered general david petraeus, of course, a well-known military figure, now running the international forces in afghanistan, the commander there prior to that, everybody remembers the author of the surge during the bush administration in iraq, a second surge now being authored by the obama administration. this time in afghanistan. he will move to be the director, the dci as they say in washington, the director of central intelligence at the cia. he's going to be replaced by the deputy commander of something called centcom. most people are familiar with the american military's division that handles that part of the world. john allen, general john allen, will be moving into that position, and one more vacant seat to fill will be the ambassador. the american ambassador to kabul, carl eikenberry, he's been there for four years in
3:11 pm
various capacities, most recently as the ambassador to afghanistan. he's going to be leaving to be replaced. moving to kabul will be ryan crocker. a host of moves, most of them being applauded from both sides of the aisle on capitol hill, within the intelligence and military communities as well, martin. >> do you think, mike, that the removal of petraeus from afghanistan means that.u the drawdown is going to follow a much more disciplined time table? >> reporter: that is a great question, and that is the number one question on the minds of everyone here in washington as well as the pentagon and i would imagine in afghanistan as well. july, just a couple months from now, the obama administration, the president, had set that out as the date by which a withdrawal would begin. many members of the president's own party, loyalists, core democrats, think he's not going
3:12 pm
to be announcing anything significant in terms of withdrawal, very disappointed. they're anticipating they will be disappointed because the president has also said that by july 2014 or the end of 2014, that's when afghan forces, indigenous forces will be able to take over control of their own security. many people expecting a gradual drawdown. petraeus -- a lot of people talking also about the blurring of the lines, the distinctions between military operations and intelligence operations, particularly when you're talking about the tribal areas of afghanistan, the increased use of unmanned drones from above, sometimes controversial, sometimes resulting in collateral damage. the increased use of those as well as contractors. some refer to paramilitary groups run by the united states government playing a more active role. so a number of very interesting wrinkles, and contrary to panetta's reported reluctance to move from cia to dod, general
3:13 pm
petraeus was said to be very eager to take over the role at the head of the cia, martin. >> mike, we can see those magnificent oak doors pulled slightly open and our colleague chuck todd was just waving two minutes at us when you were talking. so i think the president is about to come about -- come sought, and here he is now. the president of the united states as he comes out. >> everybody, please have a seat. good afternoon, everybody. i want to begin by saying a few words about the devastating storms that have ripped through the southeastern united states. the loss of life has been heartbreaking, especially in alabama. in a matter of hours these deadly tornadoes, some of the
3:14 pm
worst that we've seen in decades, took mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, friends and neighbors. even entire communities. others are injured and some are still missing, and in many places the damage to homes and businesses is nothing short of catastrophic. we can't control when or where a terrible storm may strike, but we can control how we respond to it, and i want every american who has been affected by this disaster to know the federal government will do everything we can to help you recover, and we will stand with you as you rebuild. i have already spoken to the governors of alabama, virginia, mississippi, tennessee, and georgia, and i have let them know that we are ready to help in any possible way. i have declared a state of emergency in alabama so that we can make all necessary resources available to that state. i have dispatched federal emergency management agency
3:15 pm
administrator craig fugate to alabama so he can personally work with state and local officials, and i will travel myself to alabama tomorrow to meet with those leading the response efforts as well as the families who are reeling from this disaster. i also want to commend all the men and women who have been working around the clock for the last few days to save the lives of their friends and neighbors and to begin the long work of rebuilding these communities. these police officers, firefighters firefighters, emts and other emergency responders are heroes and they have the thanks of a grateful nation and we pray for their success and we stand with every american affected by this disaster in the days and weeks to come. now, as we meet our obligations to these americans, we're mindful of our obligation to the safety of all americans, and that's why we're here today. as commander in chief, i have no
3:16 pm
greater responsibility than the security of the american people and the well-being of our courageous men and women in uniform and their families. over the past two years, my administration has done whatever it takes to meet these responsibilities. we've been relentless against al qaeda and its affiliates preventing terrorist attacks and saving lives. we've brought nearly 100,000 troops out of iraq in an orderly way. we ended our combat mission, and we refocused on afghanistan where we're breaking the taliban's momentum and training afghan forces. and from europe to asia we have strengthened old alliances, forged new partnerships, and restored american leadership in the world. still, we confront urgent challenges. in iraq we're working to bring the rest of our troops home as iraqis secure their democracy. in afghanistan we're moving into a new phase, transferring
3:17 pm
responsibility for security to afghan forces, starting to reduce american forces this summer, and building a long-term partnership with the afghan people. as people across the middle east and north africa seek to determine their own destiny, we must ensure that america stands with those who seek their universal rights, and that includes continuing to support the international effort to protect the libyan people, and here at home as we make the hard decisions that are needed to reduce america's debt, we cannot compromise our ability to defend our nation or our interests around the world. these are some of the pressing challenges that we must meet in the pivotal days ahead. today i am proud to announce key members of my national security team who along with vice president biden and secretary clinton will help us meet them. i have worked closely with most of the individuals on this stage and all of them have my complete confidence.
3:18 pm
they are leaders of enormous integrity and talent who have devoted their lives to keeping our nation strong and secure and i am personally very, very grateful to each of them for accepting these new assignments. given the pivotal period we're entering i felt it was absolutely critical we had this team in place so we can stay focused on our missions, maintain or momentum and keep our nation secure. when i took office, bob gates had already served under seven presidents and he carried a clock that counted down the days, hours, and minutes until he could return to washington state with his wife, becky. i was able to convince him to stay for one more year. or i was able to convince to talk to becky about staying one more year. at some point along the way bob threw out that clock. he is now one of the longest
3:19 pm
serving defense secretaries in american history, and as a grateful nation we can all agree that bob has more than earned the right to return to private life, which he has decided to do at the end of june. i will have more to say about secretary gates' exemplary service in the days to come, but today every american must know that because he helped to responsibly wind down the war in iraq, we're in a better position to support our troops and manage the transition in afghanistan. because he challenged conventional thinking, our troops have the life-saving equipment they need and our military is better prepared for today's wars. and because he courageously cut unnecessary spending, we'll save hundreds of billions of dollars that can be invested in the 21st century military our troops deserve. i am confident bob gates will be remembered as one of the finest defense secretaries in american history, and i will always be grateful for his service.
3:20 pm
i'm equally confident that bob's reform agenda will be carried out by another great public servant of our time, leon panetta. leon appreciates the struggles and sacrifices of our troops and military families because he served in the army himself and because he and his wife, sylvia, are proud parents of a son who served in afghanistan, and just as leon earned the trust and respect of our intelligence professionals at the cia by listening to them and fighting fiercely on their behalf, i know he'll do the same for our armed forces and their families. the patriotism and extraordinary management skills that have defined leon's four decades of service is exactly what we need in our next secretary of defense. as a former congressman and white house chief of staff, leon knows how to lead, which is why he is held in such high esteem not only in this city but around the world. as a cia director who's played a
3:21 pm
decisive role in our fight against violent extremism, he understands even as we begin the transition in afghanistan, we must remain unwavering in our fight against al qaeda. and as a former omb director he will ensure that even as we make tough budget decisions, we'll maintain our military's superiority and keep our military the very best in the world. leon, i know you have been looking forward to returning home to sylvia and your beautiful monterrey. i thank you for taking on another assignment for our country and i hope you don't have a clock. i'm also very pleased that leon's work at the cia will be carried on by one of our leading strategic thinkers and one of the finest military officers of our time, general david petraeus. this is the second time in a year that i have asked general petraeus to take on a demanding assignment, and i know this one carries a special sacrifice for him and his wife, holly.
3:22 pm
after nearly 40 years in uniform, including leading american and coalition forces in some of the most challenging military missions since 9/11, david petraeus will retire from the army that he loves to become the next cia director, effective early september pending senate confirmation. as a life long consumer of intelligence, he know that is intelligence must be timely, accurate, and acted upon quickly. he understands that staying a step ahead of nimble adversaries requires sharing and coordinating nftinformation, including with my director of national intelligence, jim clapper. even as he and the cia confront a full range of threats, david's extraordinary knowledge of the middle east and afghanistan uniquely positions him to lead the agency in its effort to defeat al qaeda. in short, just as general petraeus changed the way that our military fights and wins wars in the 21st century, i have no doubt that director petraeus
3:23 pm
will guide our intelligence professionals as they continue to adapt and innovate in an ever-changing world. finally, i'm pleased to announce my choice for the civilian military team that will lead our efforts in afghanistan in this year of transition. i'm nominating a superb commander, lieutenant general john allen, to succeed general petraeus as commander of the international security assistance force or isaf. as a battle tested combat leader in iraq, he helped turn the tide in anbar province. as deputy commander of central command, he's respected in the region and has been deeply involved in planning and executing our strategy in afghanistan. as our troops continue to sacrifice for our security as we tragically saw again yesterday, general allen is the right commander for this vital mission. as coalition forces transfer responsibility to afghans, we're redoubling our efforts to
3:24 pm
promote political and economic progress in afghanistan as well. our tireless ambassador, karl eikenberry, has helped us dramatically increase our civilian presence of diplomats and development experts. never before have our civilians and troops worked together so closely and so successfully, and i have personally relied on carl's candid advice on this complex mission. after two years in one of the world's most challenging posts, ambassador eeikenberry's time i afghanistan is coming to an end. he's hard at work in kabul today, and i want to thank carl and his wife for their outstanding service. to build on carl's great work, i'm very grateful that one of our nation's most respected diplomats, ryan crocker, has agreed to return to public service as our next ambassador to afghanistan. this is a five-time ambassador, and ryan is no stranger to tough
3:25 pm
assignments. few americans know this region and its challenges better than ambassador crocker. he was our first envoy to afghanistan after the fall of the taliban. he reopened our embassy there. as a former ambassador to pakistan, he recognizes that our strategy has to succeed on both sides of the border. as ambassador to iraq, he has remarkable partnership with general petraeus and helped reduce the level of violence and shift from the military surge to a political effort and a long-term partnership between our two countries. this is exactly what is needed now in afghanistan where ambassador crocker will work with our new special representative to afghanistan and pakistan, mark grossman, and i want to thank ryan and his wife, christine, a decorated former foreign service officer herself, for agreeing to serve our nation once more. so leon panetta at the defense department, david petraeus at the cia, ambassador crocker and
3:26 pm
general john allen in afghanistan. these are the leaders i have chose ton help guide us through the difficult days ahead. i will look to them and my entire national security team for their counsel, continuity, and unity of effort that this moment in history demands, and our people on the front lines, our brave troops, our outstanding intelligence personnel, our dedicated diplomats, will look to them for the leadership success requires. i urge our friends in the senate to confirm these individuals as swiftly as possible so they can assume their duties and help meet the urgent challenges we confront as a nation. we are a nation still at war and joined by the leaders alongside me today i will continue to do everything as commander in chief to keep our nation strong and the american people safe. with that i'd like to invite each of these leaders to say a few words. i'm going to start with bob
3:27 pm
gates. >> thank you, mr. president, for your kind words. >> president obama there announcing four new positions and appointments. new ambassador for afghanistan, new leader of isaf, a new cia director, and a new director of defense. we'll have much more ahead. stay with us. ooh. happy birthday todd. it's for a cough... from allergies... [ male announcer ] halls relieves coughs and sore throats due to allergies too. now you know. [ woman ] people don't just come to ge capital for money. they come to us for help. at ge capital, we've been financing taylor guitars for over eight years,
3:28 pm
helping them build a strong dealer network. bringing music to people... i like that. ♪ ♪ [ bob ] i didn't know you could play. i didn't either. ♪
3:29 pm
equal whose tenure as secretary of defense will go down as one of the most consequential and important examples of leadership in the history of the american government. and since he, too, was a former cia director, i'm hopeful that that experience can serve me as well as it served bob as secretary. in speaking of the cia, i also want to deeply thank the good men and women of the cia for all
3:30 pm
they do without recognition or credit to safeguard this fashna and protect it. they welcomed me to their ranks, and it has been the highest honor of my professional career to be able to lead them. and i only wish that all americans could see, as i have, how vital their work is in protecting our national security. if confirmed, i will be relying heavily, as i always do, on the support of my wonderful family. my wife sylvia, my three sons, chris, carmelo, and jim, their wives, and our six grandchildren. in my 40 years of public life, they have been tolerant beyond measure and very loving, and
3:31 pm
because of that i love them all very much. i spent 40 years in public service, and it began when i served in the army as an intelligence officer in the 1960s. i was proud to wear the uniform of our country, and my respect and admiration for our nation's armed forces has only grown in the decades since. this is a time of historic change both at home and abroad. as the son of immigrants, i was raised to believe that we cannot be free unless we are secure. today we are a nation at war, and job one will be to ensure that we remain the strongest
3:32 pm
military power in the world to protect that security that is so important to this country. yet, this is also a time for hard choices. it's about ensuring that we are able to prevail in the conflicts in which we are now engaged. but it's also about being able to be strong and disciplined in applying our nation's limited resources to defending america. none of this will be easy, but i am confident, mr. president, that you can be assured that i will give you, the nation's commander in chief, my best and most candid advice about these issues and that i will be a faithful advocate for the brave
3:33 pm
men and women at the department of defense who put their lives on the line every day to ensure that we achieve that great american dream of giving our children a better life and a more secure america. thank you. >> well, mr. president, thank you very much. i feel deeply honored to be nominated to become the 20th director of the central intelligence agency, and i feel deeply grateful for the opportunity if confirmed to continue to contribute to the important endeavors to which so many have given so much over the past decade in particular. during that time i have had the privilege of working very closely with the quiet professionals of the central intelligence agency. i have seen firsthand their
3:34 pm
expertise, their commitment to our nation, and their courage in dangerous circumstances. their service to our country is of vital importance. indeed, it is all the more vital as it is all the more unheralded. in short, i have enormous respect for the men and women of the agency, and if confirmed, i will do my utmost to serve, to represent, and to lead those great intelligence professionals as well as to work closely with thed ni and the other intel community leaders as director panetta has done so superbly over the past 2 1/2 years. as i return to afghanistan tomorrow, i will do so with a sense of guarded optimism about the trajectory of the mission and the exceptional civil military team the president will nam na nominate that effort. i can think of no two better suited individuals to ensure the
3:35 pm
hard fought gains that have been achieved over the past year. during the flight back to afghanistan, i will also reflect on the extraordinary leadership that secretary gates has provided over the past 4 1/2 years at the helm of the department of defense. i believe that all in uniform are deeply grateful to him, but none can be more grateful to him than i am. again, mr. president, thank you very much for the opportunity, if confirmed, to continue to serve our nation. >> mr. president, thank you. i am deeply honored by this selection, and i'm grateful for the support and the leadership of secretary gates and chairman mullen. sir, i am mindful of the significance of this responsibility, and i am deeply committed to the leadership of the magnificent young men and
3:36 pm
women of our armed forces and those of the armed forces of this great and historic coalition of nations. i understand well the demands of this mission, and, mr. president, if confirmed by the senate, i will dedicate my full measure to the successful accomplishment of the tasks and the objectives now set before us. mr. president, thank you for your confidence. >> mr. president, i am deeply honored to have your confidence, that of the vice president, that of the secretary of state, that of the national security adviser for this important mission. the challenges are formidable,
3:37 pm
and the stakes are high. 9/11 came to us out of afghanistan. our enemy must never again have that opportunity. i thought i had found a permanent home as dean of the bush school at texas a&m as the secretary of defense had done before me, but the bush school is a school of public service, and mr. president, i am very proud to answer this call to serve. over nine years ago i had the privilege of reopening our embassy in kabul after the fall of the taliban. if confirmed, i look forward to returning to build on the progress that's been achieved in recent months working with the courageous men and women at our embassy, with our military, with our nato allies in the united nations, and especially with the people of afghanistan. i also look forward to rejoining
3:38 pm
my old battle buddy general dave petraeus, however briefly, and i am delighted that i will have the opportunity to carry forward with another good friend and comrade from iraq, general john allen. thank you, mr. president. >> thank you, ryan. i cannot think of a group of individuals better suited to lead our national security team during this difficult time. while i'm up here, i think it's important to acknowledge the extraordinary work that my vice president and my secretary of state and my national security adviser have done as well. this is going to be an outstanding team. i am grateful for the service that they've already provided, and i'm confident that they will continue to do everything that they can to ensure america's safety and security, not just today, but tomorrow. let me also just briefly thank their teams, some of whom are
3:39 pm
going to be shuffling their own lives, whether it's at the cia or in afghanistan, all of you have done outstanding work and i'm grateful for your service to our nation, and once again let me thank the families of the individuals here. all of them make extraordinary sacrifices, michelle can attest to that, and we know that none of us could be successful were it not for your extraordinary support. so thank you very much. >> president obama there, serious and somber, announcing four new appointments for the protection and the continuing safety of america. we'll have much more ahead from london. stay with us. she felt lost...
3:40 pm
until the combination of three good probiotics in phillips' colon health defended against the bad gas, diarrhea and constipation. ...and? it helped balance her colon. oh, now that's the best part. i love your work. [ female announcer ] phillips' colon health. fill an entire community with joy? maxwell house believes so. that's why we've partnered with rebuilding together to help revitalize communities in need. vote for your community at when i got my medicare card, i realized i needed an aarp... medicare supplement insurance card, too. medicare is one of the great things about turning 65, but it doesn't cover everything. in fact, it only pays up to 80% of your part b expenses.
3:41 pm
if you're already on or eligible for medicare, call now to find out how an aarp... medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company, helps cover some of the medical expenses... not paid by medicare part b. that can save you from paying up to thousands of dollars... out of your own pocket. these are the only medicare supplement insurance plans... exclusively endorsed by aarp. when you call now, you'll get this free information kit... with all you need to enroll. put their trust in aarp medicare supplement insurance. plus you'll get this free guide to understanding medicare. the prices are competitive. i can keep my own doctor. and i don't need a referral to see a specialist. call now to get a free information kit. plus you'll get this free guide to understanding medicare. and the advantages don't end there. choose from a range of medicare supplement plans... that are all competitively priced. we have a plan for almost everyone, so you can find one that fits your needs and budget.
3:42 pm
with all medicare supplement plans, there are virtually no claim forms to fill out. plus you can keep your own doctor and hospital that accepts medicare. and best of all, these plans are... the only medicare supplement plans endorsed by aarp. when they told me these plans were endorsed by aarp... i had only one thing to say... sign me up. call the number on your screen now... and find out about an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan. you'll get this free information kit... and guide to understanding medicare, to help you choose the plan that's right for you. as with all medicare supplement plans, you can keep your own doctor and hospital that accepts medicare, get help paying for what medicare doesn't... and save up to thousands of dollars. call this toll-free number now. back here in london and the syrian ambassador to britain has had his invitation to tomorrow's wedding withdrawn with officials here in the uk now saying the invite was inappropriate due to
3:43 pm
the government's brutal attacks on protesters in that region. today i'm seated just outside of westminster abbey, the church where prince william and catherine middleton will marry in the presence of a global audience of some 2 billion people. and i'm joined again tonight by nbc correspondent michelle kosinski who is part of our team closely following the royal wedding preparations. i understand you have some news for us about prince william. >> right. the bbc has on live now apparently, of course, we can't see it, but prince woman is working the rope line along the mall. that's that long ceremonial road between buckingham and the historic buildings. i don't know how many people are out there now, probably thousands. you can see all the people right here. apparently he's mingling with them and saying hello before his big day. they've expressed even in their program that we've seen released -- >> which was published today. >> how touched they are by all this outpouring. it's nice to see even so close
3:44 pm
to this event he's out chatting with people. >> last night he was playing soccer, wasn't he? >> that must have relacked him. >> he doesn't seem to be threatened or intimidated by any of this. >> it's nice to see how sociable and public they are. i think from the time he was born, maybe thanks in large part to his mother, diana, he's really had one foot in just regular life. she used to like to take them out and actually buy things at the grocery store with actual money. we laugh at that. can you imagine that being so strange, but they like that. very really embrace going incognito when they can. >> also in the program there's an absolutely stunning photograph that's been included. >> yeah. >> tell us a little bit about that. >> also done by the photographer of the royals. it really is beautiful and natural looking, and that sort ever sets the theme of the day. you know, you don't sort of see
3:45 pm
them posed as if in an old oil painting. it's so natural. it really does look like almost a fashion photo, but natural smiles and their posture and that's really kind of the mood they want to project not only for the ceremony but for the parties that follow. that there's a big disco set up in buckingham palace right now. so as these little details leak out, you kind of see, okay, they want this to be fun and warm and not purely ceremonial and historic. >> the british government about a month ago issued the opportunity to streets to close them and to have permits where the roads would be closed. not many people took them up initially, but there seems to be a gradually increasing enthusiasm for this, is that right? >> i think it's just -- i mean, what's the word? the bureaucracy of it, who wants to go and get a permit? you'd rather just wait until the last minute and show up just with a few people then try to set up all these permissions. so i think they were a little worried, you know, what if we throw a party and nobody comes
3:46 pm
or if the weather is tear be and no one shows up. but to see now people going out and setting up tents even in this really chilly weather. it's telling everybody, okay, it really is going to be the celebratory tone, not just nationally but globally i guess, that they were hoping for. >> i'm glad that you've mentioned the weather because my teeth are chattering. it's really cold out here. >> and it's not just cold, it's that windy damp cold. >> typical british spring day. >> we're not as hearty as these brits here. you have to fight and find and then all of a sudden your lost. things are blocked off. it's kind of brutal down here. to see people out on the street with their little tents set up, it's impressive. i don't know how many people i know that would, you know, go through the conditions all night long to catch a glimpse when the television is so very comfortable. >> what do we know about the weather for tomorrow? because i was looking at the forecast on our own website, the
3:47 pm
international forecast, and it was suggesting a 60% to 70% chance of rain in the morning. >> i have seen so many variations of that. and, of course, the forecast does change hourly and daily depending on conditions. i think my favorite one said it was going to be 70 and not rain until the afternoon but that was maybe two days ago. the latest i have seen is i think it's going to be 68 degrees is the high and i don't know what the percentage chance of rain is but it did have the symbol with heavy clouds and rain. so everyone, of course, is hoping it will hold off, but even if it rains, i don't think it's going to stop people from being out. it almost feels like you have to stick with it at that point. >> we'll be relying on you for your reporting tomorrow. >> i'm sure your audience will be 2 million, too. >> and be sure to tune into our special wedding coverage starting tonight at 10:00 eastern here on msnbc. coming up, what happens right after prince william and catherine say "i do"? you're s. i'm allergic to you. doubtful, you love me.
3:48 pm
hey, you can't take allegra with fruit juice. what? yeah, it's on the label. really? here, there's nothing about juice on the zyrtec® label. what? labels are meant to be read. i'd be lost without you. i knew you weren't allergic to me. [ sneezes ] you know, you can't take allegra with orange juice. both: really? fyi. [ male announcer ] get zyrtec®'s proven allergy relief and love the air®. how about a smile? at, we can design an arrangement that is sure to delight. [ doorbell ] 1-800-flowers. ohh! take our "tote-ally" original, "tote-ally" mom bouquet, a stylish gift that fits her perfectly. this mother's day, don't settle for the ordinary. send a creation that's truly her. call, click or come in, and let us arrange a smile for you this mother's day, starting at $29.99.
3:49 pm
3:50 pm
3:51 pm
we're back now in london with some insight into the new responsibilities of prince william and catherine. i'm joined by royal experts and nbc contributors robert jobson and camilla timoney. good afternoon in america and good evening here. >> hi. >> what are the responsibilities that william's going to have, given the fact his father is till the prince of wales and the queen is still on the throne? >> people forget williams in a different position than charles was in 1981. i think he'll be keen, william, to keep a backseat for a couple of years. he's stationed and they have an id illic existence there away from london. a careful balancing of the military role which he'll continue in and, of course, his royal role. we expect them to step that up
3:52 pm
as a couple. everyone will be as interested in the tour as this wedding. >> i'm sure you'll be going on it? >> absolutely. >> robert, we heard earlier that camilla, charles' wife, went out with just a protection officer to meet people. what was she doing? >> bottom line is camilla, no matter what a nice woman she is -- not you -- >> the other one. >> she is not going to be popular in terms of william and catherine to get. there's no doubt about that and difficult, really, with prince william. everyone wants a bit of a private life and wants to do this and that. the reality is you can't put the genie in the bottle. 2 billion people watching that wedding and a huge number and very important to the royal family. this is big for their brand. >> i think we have pictures of prince hwilliam and harry now.
3:53 pm
no, we don't. is camilla anxious of being in the public eye? does she want to have more responsibility? >> i think so. she is keen to say, look, it is not catherine the next commoner queen, she is. the bottom line is, no matter what anybody says about princess consult, she will be the next queen when charles becomes king. >> what do you think of the relationship of prince william and his wife-to-be and the prince of wales and camilla? >> it is an interesting one, i suppose. at least there's true love at the heart of it. >> they're suggesting that the wife might be -- >> jealous? >> might be. >> possibly. there's that in my family. the irony is charles was e climsed by diana and now his wife.
3:54 pm
they're young and fun and vibrant. charles and camilla can be considered the glums. >> you can see prince william surrounded by police officers and just meeting the crowd in a walkabout. i think prince harry was with him but just look for the hair. >> i love he's doing this. it's an atmosphere in london. >> it is wonderful but the reality is it takes me back a bit to the somber times of die why in's death out there, shaking hands. at the worst and most tragic time of his life and a happy time and wonderful to see. >> it is really wonderful to see. do you think that this is softening up the crowd? what is he doing? >> i don't know if he needs to soften up the crowd. they're waving the flags out there and cheering. >> it's just great pr. doing the right thing. they know the world is watching and they know how to work it. the queen did this many, many years ago. >> thank you so much for joining us. a final reminder to tune in to special wedding day coverage starting tonight at 10:00 eastern here on msnbc.
3:55 pm
i was glad when they said unto me the hymn kate will walk down the aisle to. stay with us. it's true. you never forget your first subaru. these wheat thins crunch stix will save us. [ crunch ] look! [ male announcer ] wheat thins crunch stix. try our new flavors.
3:56 pm
ben and his family live on this block. ben's a re/max agent, and he's a big part of this community. re/max agents know their markets, and they care enough to get to know you, too. nobody sells more real estate than re/max. visit today. [ male announcer ] in 2011, at&t is at work, building up our wireless network all across america. we're adding new cell sites... increasing network capacity, and investing billions of dollars to improve your wireless network experience. from a single phone call to the most advanced data download, we're covering more people
3:57 pm
in more places than ever before in an effort to give you the best network possible. at&t. rethink possible. that's how it is with alzheimer's disease. she needs help from me. and her medication. the exelon patch -- it releases medication continuously for twenty-four hours. she uses one exelon patch daily for the treatment of mild to moderate alzheimer's symptoms. [ female announcer ] it cannot change the course of the disease. hospitalization and rarely death have been reported in patients who wore more than one patch at a time. the most common side effects of exelon patch are nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. the likelihood and severity of these side effects may increase as the dose increases. patients may experience loss of appetite or weight. patients who weigh less than 110 pounds may experience more side effects. people at risk for stomach ulcers who take certain other medicines should talk to their doctor because serious stomach problems such as bleeding may worsen. people with certain heart conditions may experience slow heart rate. [ woman ] whenever i needed her, she was there for me.
3:58 pm
now i'm here for her. [ female announcer ] ask the doctor about your loved one trying the exelon patch. visit to learn more. it's time now to "clear the air." and tomorrow morning, westminster abbey just behind me will probably contain the largest gathering of royalty, government and clergy that the country has ever seen. but sadly, one person will not be present and referring the groom's mother, a person beloved around the world. she was aristocratic by birth. she was stunningly beautiful yet offered similar think to those whose bodies had been deformed. but most of all, she was a loving mother who despite suffering depression throughout a difficult marriage tried her level best to protect her two
3:59 pm
beloved sons. she was not perfect. nobody is. but she was humane and she was loving. and if she were alive this afternoon, she would not only be helping her son laugh and relax before tomorrow's main event, she'd also be offering her deepest sympathies to the families of those whose lives have been devastated in the last 24 hours by the outbreak of horrifying and catastrophic weather conditions in the united states. tomorrow, just after prince william and catherine have said their marriage vows, the choir will sing words from the book of psalms with music specially composed for this ceremony. and the words may be appropriate for all of us. for those who must prepare for tomorrow's wedding and the absence of princess diana own those who must try to rebuild their lives in alabama. be strong and he shall comfort thine heart and put thou thy